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Texas Baptist Men shine as Service Organization of the Year

NEDERLAND — Texas Baptist Men is an organization that travels around the state helping communities recover from natural disasters.

The “Texans on a Mission” aided Southeast Texas during its tumultuous fight with Tropical Storm Imelda in September 2019. TBM’s recovery-and-relief efforts landed them as the 2020 Service Organization of the Year by the Nederland Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” said Dwain Carter, director of disaster relief for Texas Baptist Men. “What we do, we don’t do for those kind of accolades and honors but it lets us know that we are doing the things we need to be doing, and we are doing them for the right reasons.”

Texas Baptist Men dispersed hundreds of volunteers to Southeast Texas in the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda to serve food, provide shelter and aid in rebuilding efforts.

“After Imelda, we immediately showed up on scene and started feeding everyone we could,” Carter said. “We cooked over 5,000 meals a day with Red Cross passing out food to the community.

“We gave away several truckloads of water and did flood recovery. We took out flooded carpeting, furniture and sheetrock from people’s homes. We helped them get ready to rebuild their houses and rebuilt several houses ourselves after the fact, as well.”

Carter said Texas Baptist Men has about 5,000 trained volunteers from all over the state and has been in operation since 1967.

“We’ve been in disaster recovery for 50 years,” he said. “We work with our local church contacts, county and city managers. Anytime they have a need, they call us, we go out and we help people.”

Texas Baptist Men volunteers have been crucial in disaster relief efforts across Texas, aiding Southeast Texas through Harvey, Ike and Rita prior to Imelda.

“Anytime there is a storm, Texas Baptist Men is on the scene,” Carter said.

During relief efforts, Texas Baptist Men has set up numerous times at the First Baptist Church in Nederland, where Jason Burden serves as pastor and as a volunteer.

“It is a huge source of pride for all of our workers here at First Baptist Church that are associated with Texas Baptist Men,” Burden said. “It’s really where we are able to see the Gospel be lived out in a tangible way, neighbors helping rebuild their houses and put their lives back together after terrible disasters.”

Burden said he is honored to be a part of the ministry and play a role in helping his community during tough times.

“What’s impressed me so much about TBM, is that at a moment’s notice men and women are willing to load up their trucks, their cars and their trailers and come down here to our corner,” he said. “They live in uncomfortable situations for long periods of time to mass produce food and be a blessing to complete strangers.

“They do it all because God loves them and has called them to participate in this ministry. They definitely want to share that love with everybody they come into contact with, and that’s exactly what they do.”

Texas Baptist Men will receive their award at the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau’s 79th Annual Installation Banquet 6 p.m. Thursday at Benton’s.

To learn more about Texas Baptist Men and their efforts, visit tbmtx.org.